Tag Archives: art

Da Vinci Buyer ?


The true buyer behind the recent blockbuster $450.3 million sale at Christie’s New York of Leonardo da Vinci‘s Salvator Mundi is Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Wall Street Journal revealed today.


MDC says ….. OK…. Enjoy the painting.

Yesterday, the New York Times broke the story that a lesser-known Saudi prince and distant relative of Bin Salman, Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, had been the winning bidder of the Leonardo. “[B]ut he is a proxy” for the crown prince, an unidentified “Saudi art world” source told the WSJ.

Observers had found it strange that a figure like Prince Bader, nearly unknown outside of his home country, would be behind the purchase of the most expensive painting of all time. (Indeed, yesterday artnet News’s Andrew Goldstein and Julia Halperin speculated about the possibility that he was buying Salvator Mundi on behalf of Prince Mohammed.)

The WSJ adds some interesting context on the purchase:

Mohammed bin Salman, known by his initials MBS, was identified as the painting’s buyer in U.S. intelligence reports, according to people with direct knowledge of the information. American officials have closely watched Prince Mohammed’s activities, particularly as he moves to sideline contenders to the throne and has arrested rivals in the Saudi capital.

The blockbuster art acquisition now appears to be a move in a much bigger geopolitical game unfolding across the Middle East. The WSJ report notes that Saudi Arabia’s big auction move may be an effort to win “cultural bragging rights” and focus attention on its own emerging art scene, especially given the decade-long and frequently splashy art buying spree of the Qatari royals.

The Qataris have made headlines in recent years by setting art-market records, among them the $250 million paid privately for Cezanne’s The Card Players in 2012.

Yesterday, the Louvre Abu Dhabi had tipped off its followers to further news about the possible owner of Salvator Mundi when it began posting on social media that the 500-year old painting was headed for the just-opened institution.

The WSJ notes that the Abu Dhabi destination may also help explain the Saudi crown prince’s political motives for acquiring it. The United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital, has deepened ties with Saudi Arabia amid Prince Mohammed’s ascent to power. The UAE has long tried to establish itself as a cultural hub, with mixed results. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut diplomatic ties with Qatar this past summer after long-simmering tensions.

The ruler of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed has acted as a mentor for Saudi’s Prince Mohammed as he moves forward with his own grand plans for the country.

Beware of Another Scam Website

chuck-close-posterMDC sends a warning about a SCAM website called PosterShop with a site url of Wallpart.com.

Artists and photographers are up in arms over a website that is selling cheap posters and prints of their work, without their knowledge or permission. Called the Poster Shop and located at Wallpart.com, the site is tied to an incomplete address in Sydney, Australia, its phone number follows a British format, its packages ship from China, and according to Kotaku the domain was registered by a man named Sergo Zuikov, who lives in Moscow. It has been the subject of many articles and forum discussions warning artists and would-be buyers of its shady ways, and a petition calling for the site to be shut down has garnered over 62,000 signatures.

Wallpart.com’s administrators, apparently anticipating the backlash, have provided a dedicated copyright violation claim form that some suggest is the entire point of the site, which is nothing more than an elaborate phishing scam. “This is actually the main purpose for the site’s existence — they completely anticipate artists being upset about their work supposedly being sold, so they developed a system to exploit those who complain,” the blog Peter & Company writes. “Various pieces of malware and other malicious code have been found embedded throughout their pages at different times. … These people are pure scam artists, plain and simple. Avoid them at all costs.”
In other words, Wallpart.com is intended to enrage artists in order to prompt them to provide contact and other information. A quick search of the site reveals that, indeed, posters of virtually any image on the internet can be purchased from the site. A photo of the rapper Coolio scrubbed from Wikipedia? Check. A shot of the Centre Pompidou taken from France’s official tourism site? Check. A photo of Hyperallergic editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian and senior editor Jillian Steinhauer giving a talk in Baltimore taken from the blog BmoreArt? Check. More insidious than the selling of images from Wikipedia and tourism sites — or Flickr’s short-lived fiasco of selling prints of Creative Commons images uploaded by its users — is that Wallpart.com threatens the livelihood of people who make a living from their images: artists and photographers.

“I received the first email alert about my art on Wallpart.com from Thomas Smetana, founder of 12by15,” said Joseph Nechvatal, an artist and Hyperallergic contributor. “12by15 has produced a t-shirt with me using one of my images and texts. Thomas told me that the image we used was popping up on Wallpart.com — because they ripped the image for my shirt off of his 12by15 site … I hope people understand that what they are buying, if they receive anything at all, is a shitty unsigned poster and not a work of art by me.”
Because the site pulls in any image associated with shoppers’ queries, searching for “Joseph Nechvatal” will not only turn up images of the artists’ work, but also photos of him from various blogs, images that accompanied his writing on Hyperallergic, and other tangentially related images, all available for purchase as posters. And the same is true of virtually any artist who has a website, has been photographed at an event, or had their work posted on Instagram. Search for “Carla Gannis,” for instance, and you’ll find not only images of the artist’s hugely popular “Garden of Emoji Delights” artwork, but also photos of her at openings, profile photos, and a slew of seemingly completely unrelated images.

“The most popular work of mine showing up on Wallpart.com is in fact a mash-up of Unicode characters and a classic work of art authored by a 16th-century painter. I find that ironic,” Gannis told Hyperallergic. “Stranger, photos of me at events are showing up there, for sale, and I have no idea who would want to pay money for these photos? Especially when they can download any of these photos directly from Google and print them out on their printer, but again who wants a pic of me at an art opening to hang on their wall either way? Seems unlikely. Thus I imagine there is a back story to Wallpart.com, something nefarious and unethical, or a conceptual prank? I’m not sure. The site seems highly unoriginal, if it’s an art stunt or a real business.”


source: hyperallergic


The 1st NYC Mural Festival

english3First of all – murals, obviously.

But, aside from murals, this festival is going to be a totally family friendly, as guests of all ages are welcome and there will be something for everyone.

On Thursday, August 6th, established artists will be a part of a panel that will be held at also famous Jonathan LeVine Gallery at 7 PM. Then, on Friday, the sculpture garden will open at 114 Mulberry Street, featuring the infamous bust of Edward Snowden, a work by Andrew Tider and Jeff Greenspan. In the evening, there’s another panel in 7 PM, this time on illegal vs. legal street art installations, at Con Artist Collective.

On Saturday, kids will be able to learn how to create their own signature sticker, while learning about sticker culture.

englis2  english1

Also, from 5 PM to 7 PM on Saturday, a live illustration battle will be held between street artists Crash and BIO, where they need to cover 25 feet high walls with black and white images in hour and a half. The winner will be decided by the amount of applause by the audience.

After that, a never seen European cut of “Banksy does New York” will be shown outdoors, and on Sunday there will be a musical concert, with projection of completed murals from the festival.





I was born on 148th Street in 1965, and from then until the late 1990s it never dawned on me to live anywhere other than New York City. When I lived on 14th Street in the late ‘80s, I paid $140 a month to share an apartment with a bunch of other odd and dysfunctional musicians and artists. AIDS, crack and a high murder rate kept most people away from New York back then. But even though it was a war zone, or perhaps to some extent because it was a war zone, Manhattan was still the cultural capital of the world. Of course everything’s changed since. New York has, to state the obvious, become the city of money. People say your rent should be 30 percent of your salary; in Manhattan today, at least for many people, it’s hovering around 300 percent.

The gradual shift in New York’s economic fortunes and mores reminds me of the boiling frog theory. If you take a frog and throw it in a pot of boiling water, the frog will do everything in its power to escape. But if you place a frog in room-temperature water and slowly raise the heat, it will boil to death without realizing it’s dying. (I truly hope this theory will never actually be tested.) That’s what happened to me in New York. I was so accustomed to the city’s absurd cult of money that it took me years to notice I didn’t have any artist friends left in Manhattan, and the artists and musicians I knew were slowly moving farther and farther east, with many parts of Brooklyn even becoming too pricey for aspiring or working artists.

New York had entered the pantheon of big cities that people visit and observe and patronize and document, but don’t actually add to, like Paris.

During the 1990s, thanks to the cessation of the crack epidemic, New York became increasingly safer and more affluent, and less artist-friendly, but it was still the place I wanted to call home. What happened next reminded me of Gremlins: you’re not supposed to feed the gremlins after midnight or they metastasize. Gremlin midnight came to New York sometime in the mid-‘90s. I realized then that most people I met in New York were happily observing and talking about culture, but not necessarily contributing to it. It seemed New York had entered the pantheon of big cities that people visit and observe and patronize and document, but don’t actually add to, like Paris. No one goes to Paris imagining how they can contribute to the city. People go to Paris thinking, “Wow, I want to get my picture taken with Paris in the background.” That’s what New York became, a victim of its own photogenic beauty and success.

And, to again state the obvious, New York is exclusively about success—it’s success that has been fed steroids and B vitamins. There’s a sense that New Yorkers never fail, but if they do, they’re exorcised from memory, kind of like Trotsky in early pictures of the Soviet Communist Politburo. In New York you can be easily overwhelmed by how much success everyone else seems to be having, whereas in L.A., everybody publicly fails at some point—even the most successful people. A writer’s screenplay may be turned into a major movie, but there’s a good chance her next five screenplays won’t even get picked up. An actor may star in acclaimed films for two years, then go a decade without work. A musician who has sold well might put out a complete failure of a record—then bounce back with the next one. Experimentation and a grudging familiarity with occasional failure are part of L.A.’s ethos.

Experimentation and a grudging familiarity with occasional failure are part of L.A.’s ethos.

Maybe I’m romanticizing failure, but when it’s shared, it can be emancipating and even create solidarity. Young artists in L.A. can really experiment, and if their efforts fall short, it’s not that bad because their rent is relatively cheap and almost everyone else they know is trying new things and failing, too. There’s also the exciting, and not unprecedented, prospect of succeeding at a global level. You can make something out of nothing here. Take Katy Perry. She’s a perfectly fine singer who one minute was literally couch surfing and the next was a household name selling out 50,000-capacity stadiums. Or Quentin Tarantino, one minute a video clerk, the next minute one of the most successful writer/directors in history. Los Angeles captures that strange, exciting and at times delusional American notion of magical self-invention.

I don’t want to create a New York-L.A. dichotomy, because both cities are progressive and wonderful, and there are clearly many other great American cities. Artists aren’t just leaving New York for L.A.—they’re also going to Portland, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia and countless other places. And, as an aside, I don’t know why they aren’t moving to Newark. It’s 15 minutes away from Manhattan and remarkably cheap. I think it’s the unwarranted New Jersey stigma that unfortunately keeps people from crossing the Hudson. People would rather move to the worst part of Brooklyn and still have the magical “NY” in their address. That single consonant on their mail—”Y” as opposed to “J”— seems to keep people from making that 15-minute trek to Newark.

Plenty of other cities in the United States and abroad are, of course, interesting and beautiful, but I moved to L.A. due to its singular pre-apocalyptic strangeness. It seems equally baffled and baffling, with urban and suburban and wilderness existing in fantastic chaos just inches away from one another. There’s no center to L.A, and in many ways it’s kind of a fantastically confused petri dish of an anti-city. If you’re in New York, Brussels, London or Milan, you’re surrounded by a world that has been subdued and overseen by humans for centuries, sometimes for millennia. They’re stable cities; and when you’re in an older city you feel a sense of safety, as if you’re in a city that’s been, and being, well looked after. You feel like most well-established and conventional cities know what they’re doing. L.A., on the other hand, is constantly changing and always seemingly an inch away from some sort of benign collapse.

Nature, with all its empty, otherworldly expanses, is the constant, hulking neighbor to Los Angeles.

If you look at some of L.A.’s patron saint artists, like Robert Irwin and James Turrell, their work is about the vast, unknowable and at times uncaring strangeness of the world we live in—not the human world, but the natural world. And it makes sense: nature, with all its empty, otherworldly expanses, is the constant, hulking neighbor to Los Angeles. The moment you leave L.A., you’re in a desert that would most likely kill you if you left your water bottle at home. For southern California, humanity is the weird exception, not the rule.

L.A.’s strange environment and contradictions have also shaped the sound of my recent music. My last album, Innocents, is a fairly quiet and domestic record, almost like whistling in the dark in the face of the vast maw. And if I were more of a weird, brave artist—and maybe I’ll do this in the future—I would move out into the desert and let its vastness and uncaringness inform what I’m doing. So far I have made quiet sounds as something of a retreat into my home.

I should admit I have an ulterior motive in promoting L.A. I’m so outspoken about my love for the city because I want my friends to move here. When friends from New York ask me why I moved here, I say, somewhat elusively, “David Lynch lives here, there’s the Museum of Jurassic Technology, rents are relatively cheap, and I can run around outside 365 days of the year. Oh, and there are still recording studios in L.A.” And I’m always sending them real estate listings, especially when they complain about the cost of real estate in New York (in other words: constantly). If the weather is bad in New York in February, I’ll also be a clichéd Angeleno and send them a picture of me outside by the pool. Not just because I’m an asshole and I like shameless Schadenfreude, but also because I think they’d be happier here, especially those who are trying to start families. Even friends of mine who are making very good salaries of $150,000 a year feel dirt-poor when they picture raising kids in New York. My friends who are trying to start families in New York have given up on simple things, like ever having a 50-square-foot backyard for their kids. A good domestic life is simply more attainable here, as L.A has both invented and perfected that strange balance between the suburban and the apocalyptic. But let’s be clear, I have an agenda: I want my friends to join me here so I can sit with them by my pool in February and look at the weather updates for the rest of the Western world and feel smug together.

Source: thx MOBY, the village misses ya!

Renters Insurance

MDC says, if you have valuables consider renters insurance. 

Owning your own home used to be the American dream. But today, the aftermath of the mortgage crisis, the burden of student loans, and a mobile workforce have combined to encourage more Gen-Yers and Millennials to rent instead of buy. No matter what the reason you’re renting, it’s important to understand why you need renter’s insurance and what it does — and doesn’t — cover.

1. Think twice before skipping rental insurance. Your landlord has insurance on the building and common elements, but you are responsible for all of your property and contents of the apartment you are renting. Depending on your lease, you may even be responsible for the major appliances, carpeting or window treatments. Add it all up, and the cost of replacing your possessions in case of fire or smoke, flood or theft, would cost you a lot of money. That’s why you need renter’s insurance.

2. Think about what needs coverage, not price alone. Not all rental policies are alike, so be sure to read the coverage carefully. You want replacement cost insurance — not the current cash value of your old couch or bedroom set. In addition, it’s important to compare the coverage offered.

For example, in addition to replacement, you want protection against loss of use of your apartment while it is being repaired. Make sure you have personal liability insurance and medical benefits for someone who might be hurt in an accident in your apartment. Look for coverage for appliances and electronics in case of a power surge. Ask for mold coverage, even though it usually costs extra. And the best policies have benefits for financial fraud. Don’t make your decision based on price alone; coverage is critical.

3. A higher deductible makes coverage more affordable. If you agree to pay the first $500 or $1,000 of loss, instead of the more enticing $250 deductible, it can substantially lower the annual premium for your renter’s insurance. A higher deductible is about more than saving money. You might not want to file a claim for a small loss anyway, choosing instead to cover it out-of-pocket. That will keep your premiums from rising next year because you made a claim.

4. Schedule expensive items separately. If you have a coin collection, fur coats, valuable antiques or the family silver in your rented apartment, get an appraisal. You’ll need specific coverage for those items, which adds to the policy cost but is well worth it.

5. Carry an umbrella. Your renter’s insurance may not provide enough liability insurance in case you are sued for a non-business reason. In our litigious society, it’s possible that you will be sued because you are part of a group and are perceived to have “deep pockets.” That’s where an umbrella liability policy comes in. Coverage comes in millions — starting with a minimum of $1 million in coverage. It costs only a few hundred dollars a year per million. That’s the price of peace of mind if you have a lot of vulnerable assets. Be sure to coordinate your umbrella policy with your underlying renter’s coverage so there is no gap.

MDC adds, take pictures of your collections, art, jewelry, antiques ; because procrastinating could be more expensive than the renter’s insurance. And that’s The Savage Truth.

Source : Huffington post

The Wall Street Bull

It was 10 nights before Christmas, and all the way down Wall Street the coast was clear.

A flatbed truck turned the corner and lurched to a stop directly in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Arturo Di Modica and his small band of co-conspirators jumped out of the truck and got right to work — the night watchman had just completed his patrol of 11 Wall St., and, having cased the block for several nights, Di Modica and his team knew they had just 4 ½ minutes until he returned.

They lowered the bronze beast — all 3 ½ tons of it — right into the middle of Broad Street, and right under the exchange’s Christmas tree. The truck zoomed out of sight, but Di Modica stood at the corner, watching and waiting for morning.

It was 25 years ago today that Wall Street’s favorite mascot arrived downtown. Di Modica, the Italian artist who spent $350,000 of his own money to cast “Charging Bull” in his Soho studio as a Christmas gift to the city, relished the reactions of New Yorkers — traders, tourists, cab drivers and hot dog vendors. Unlike in Pamplona, they were running toward the bull, he said.

“It was love right away,” Di Modica, now 73, told MarketWatch. “They wanted to touch it, embrace it — it was beautiful. I stood there watching until about noon, when I took a break and went to lunch.”

Executives at the New York Stock Exchange were not nearly so amused, perhaps mistaking the bull for some sort of Trojan horse. Though there were no Athenian soldiers lurking inside, ready to jump out and spear the Masters of the Universe, apparently NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso didn’t want to take his chances, Di Modica recalled.

The police were called in, and, when they proved unwilling or ill-equipped to run an 18-foot-long bull out of town, the exchange hired private contractors to remove him. The beast suffered a fate far less dignified than being slain by a matador in the ring. He was hauled off to Queens.

“Bah, Humbug!” proclaimed the front page of the next morning’s New York Post, above a photo of the bull being carted away. “N.Y. Stock Exchange grinches can’t bear Christmas-gift bull.”

Di Modica, who for years plopped his works out on city streets in the middle of the night, should have been used to this sort of thing. But even though his bull seemed menacing, nostrils flared and ready to gore anything or anyone in its path, the sculpture, he said, was intended as a symbol of New York’s drive, optimism and willingness to barrel ahead against the odds and in spite of what had come before.

The artist conceived “Charging Bull” during the city’s most bearish hour — just days after the stock-market crash of 1987. A Sicilian immigrant who had found success in New York — enough to buy a Manhattan studio and a Ferrari — remained hopeful for his adopted home at a time many were selling the city short, convinced its best days were behind it. Though the market had recovered much of its losses by 1989, the city was stlll a crime-ridden shadow of its former and future self.

Though Grasso could not be reached to corroborate the story, the chairman, according to Di Modica, offered to bring the bull back to the exchange on one condition. “He wanted me to make a bear, too,” the artist said. “I told him I was not going to do that — the bear means the market goes down, but I wanted to represent the city getting bigger, stronger, faster.” Grasso, recalled Di Modica, hung up.

Di Modica paid to bail “Charging Bull” out of the outer boroughs, and with the help of community activists, and the city’s Parks Department, found a new home for him just a few blocks away from the exchange in Bowling Green. There he has remained the past 25 years, greeting millions of tourists, newcomers and natives as a kind of free-market Statue of Liberty.

The bull’s time in New York has been generally bullish. The beast witnessed the city’s reversal of fortune, the drop in crime, the rise in real-estate prices, the election of a billionaire mayor. He’s also stood firm through the dot-com bust, two terrorist attacks (Sept. 11 left him covered in a thick layer of soot), the Occupy Wall Street protests (during which “Charging Bull” was used a symbol of greed run amok) and the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

Di Modica likely recouped the expense of building the bull several times over in the past 25 years, having cast sibling bulls for cities around the world, and having sold many smaller versions to collectors.

Whenever the market is down, people stop him in the street and ask, “Why isn’t the bull working?” he reported. “I tell them he’s resting, he’s tired, but he’ll get back to it soon.”

The artist doesn’t play the market himself: “I’m not an investor — I have a manager to do that work.”

But every couple of week he pays a visit to his most famous creation, watching the tourists pose with it the way they first did 25 years before.

MDC says that the bronze is the most protected piece of artwork with 24/7 stationed NYPD multiple police car units with officers.




I cannot say how grateful MDC is to the artist known as Banksy.

It was the Beatles who by their songbook salvaged what the assassination of JFK tried to destroy fifty years ago. We were a generation that felt the hope John Kennedy and his wife Jackie confidently spoke of and displayed. We were the youth in a country ready to embrace the future empowered and inspired. Instead we were treated to fifty years of war, deception, lies, and cover-ups assuming it was in the best interest of the People of the United States to not know the truth. The music got us through it was the only truth we could chew on.

Now all these pain filled years later we have reach the point of the promise that after fifty years the true facts surrounding the JFK assassination would be opened to the public. That anticipation is possibly a way of closure to all who suffered the divisions of the Viet Nam War until now.

And along comes Banksy gracing our streets of New York with the most refreshing perspective of what art is all about. Banksy shocks and illuminates, lends whit and whimsy to the stark aftermath of a city coping with permanent 9/11 blues.

And on the way he juxtaposes truth with corporate illusion. The Ronald McDonald sculpture with the extra large feet and a living model posing as he brings the red shoes to a high polished shine makes the ultimate corporate truth. Having this monumental statement move to different locations each day near a McDonald’s restaurant outlet displaying the piece for an hour at lunch time while knowing the authorities are after the artist known as Banksy makes this piece compelling and aloof.

The twin tower graffiti piece along a flat building surface showed such impeccable taste over the most distasteful of New York subjects, and placing a red flower where the plane struck the north tower as if it were exploding says more than all the words and pain written over the horror of that day.

Finally New York the city still holding the grief of 9/11 has someone penetrating the pain and allowing it to lift like the Beatles fifty years ago with the song “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

Thank You Banksy, please return often, and the next time you come here maybe our militarized police and Mayor will have been a long ago memory like the heartache of that September day when we were violated by our own government and the terrorists who easily made the center of the world stop and give a crazy uninformed Texan powers of destruction we will be paying out financially, spiritually, and morally, forever.



mdc banksy

This is NOT America’s Flag

MDC says, “This Is Not America” is a song by jazz fusion band Pat Metheny Group and rock singer David Bowie, taken from the soundtrack for the film The Falcon and the Snowman.

The United States loves to wave its flag – more than ever since 9/11, when the stars and stripes were plastered to every surface imaginable. But starting today, in New York’s Times Square, the American flag will have a distinctly sourer appearance.

For three minutes, on 45 different screens around the intersection, the American flag will appear in flashing lights, overlaid by a blaring caption: “THIS IS NOT AMERICA’S FLAG.” It follows a projection of the continental United States, captioned “THIS IS NOT AMERICA.” At last, all around Times Square, a true map of America will appear: the entirety of the American continent, from north Canada to Tierra del Fuego, reclaiming its name from the country that usurped it.

He is the latest artist invited to commandeer the screens of Times Square as part of the area’s Midnight Moment project, which has previously worked with Robert Wilson, Isaac Julien, Yoko Ono, and Björk. But A Logo for America is far more inflammatory than any of the earlier works in the series.

Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar: ‘I think that artists are thinkers, they’re intellectuals. For me, art is about 99% thinking and 1% making.’

When it was first shown in Times Square in 1987, in a much smaller version, it provoked outrage from passersby who missed its point about the invisibility of Latin America inside the United States.

Jaar was trained as an architect and filmmaker and came to art late in life. His work is resolutely academic, and often questions politics, ethics, and violence. “I think that artists are thinkers, they’re intellectuals,” he said in a documentary about his work last year. “And art is about thinking. For me, art is about 99% thinking and 1% making. So I spend most of my time, and I ask my students to spend 99% of their time, thinking. It’s about the situation, it’s about the analysis of a situation and about articulating the ideas that we want to share with the audience about the situation … Only at the end of a very long thinking process [do] we make something.”

‘[Art is] about the analysis of a situation and about articulating the ideas that we want to share with the audience’ – Alfredo Jaar

Since creating A Logo for America, Jaar has gone on to a major career, representing Chile at last year’s Venice Biennale with a large model of the festival’s gardens drowned in murky water. He is currently the subject of a retrospective at Kiasma, the contemporary art museum in Helsinki, which includes a million blank Finnish passports locked behind glass: a bitter gesture of goodwill towards immigrants unable to obtain EU citizenship.

This is the first reprise of A Logo for America since 1987. Yet the context has changed – in the nearly 30 years since its premiere, Times Square has mutated into a corporate funhouse that bears little resemblance to its 1980s version, when it was the porn theatre capital of New York. The prostitutes and drug dealers have been replaced by performers wearing costumes of Sesame Street characters, and a renovation by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has introduced café tables and bike lanes. Times Square is now even home to the television studio of the most popular morning show in the United States: ABC News’s Good Morning America, whose very title stands as proof of Jaar’s argument that the US has stolen the continent’s name.

The new installation is the first reprise of A Logo for America since 1987.

The Jaar project is being presented as part of Under the Same Sun, an exhibition devoted to contemporary art from Latin America, on view at the Guggenheim museum. Consisting entirely of new acquisitions by the museum, the show is part of a major surge in Latin American art in New York this season. The International Center for Photography is currently presenting a large exhibition of Latin American photography, the Museum of Modern Art has devoted its main exhibition space to Brazil’s Lygia Clark, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts is looking at the legacy of modernist architecture in Latin American cities.

• A Logo for America will appear every night in August for three minutes, from 11.57pm to midnight.20140804-085117-31877130.jpg

Banksy Spy Creation


A detailed new piece of graffiti art has appeared on a street in Cheltenham, depicting trench coat swaddled agents pointing listening devices at a telephone box.

The art, which candidly appears only three miles away from GCHQ headquarters, has not yet been claimed by any artist as their own work, though it bears the hallmarks of famous “guerrilla artist” Banksy.

Cheltenham’s local graffiti artists believe strongly that the work is by the pseudonymous activist, though the image has not appeared on Banksy’s official website.

Local artist “Dice67” told the BBC: “It’s been all over the art forums. He’s tipped off a couple of people to come and see it – one guy flew in from France yesterday to take some photos of it.”

“I’ve heard rumours he’s been living just down the road from it for the last week checking everything out and preparing the ground.”
Vince John, from the 1loveart gallery in Bristol, which sells urban and street art, said that he was “70 to 80 per cent sure” it was by the famous street artist.

“It’s certainly in his style and has the supporting cast of characters that you’d expect from one of his pieces. It’s taking a swipe at GCHQ and commenting on the establishment which is something that he does very well,” John added.

A GCHQ spokesperson said: “this the first time we have been asked to comment on art.”

“For those who are interested, our website gives a glimpse of what modern-day intelligence operatives are really like, although some may be disappointed by the lack of trench coats and dark glasses.”

Mobile Lovers


A youth club in Bristol hopes to raise £100,000 by selling a Banksy artwork it removed from a wall with a crowbar.

A picture of Mobile Lovers was posted on the celebrated street artist’s website on Monday but its whereabouts were not disclosed. However, the location was identified on Tuesday as Clement Street, within sight of Bristol’s bustling shopping centre.

Fans travelled to the street to admire the image, which was painted on a black piece of wood screwed on to a wall.

But at 4pm, a group of men from the financially struggling Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project – situated just beside the piece – used crowbars to remove it.

Dennis Stinchcombe, 58, leader of the youth project, said the piece would be sold to raise funds to keep the centre open. “I was approached by somebody who knows Banksy very well,” Stinchcombe said.

“He’s an artist himself and he said, ‘You need to take that, Dennis, get it into that club – it’s what it is meant for’.

“Banksy never does his street art on pieces of wood – they are always on walls so they can’t be taken away.

“We need £120,000 to keep going and our fundraising appeal has so far only brought a few thousand pounds.

“Now we’ve ended up with a Banksy on our doorstep. It is a dream come true. I’m absolutely buzzing.”

By 6pm, planks of wood had been screwed over the empty doorway, with a notice urging fans to visit the piece at the club by paying a donation.

Stinchcombe said Mobile Lovers had been placed as close as possible to the club, which is behind tall locked gates.

“He has done it to help the right people,” he said. “Somebody was saying it is worth £40,000 but I am hoping for £100,000.

“We will let people come and see it here for a while, then get it to Bonhams for valuation.”

The club, which is attended by 1,000 young people every month, has been operating for 120 years.

Stinchcombe, who has been working at the club for 40 years, initially spotted the piece at 9.15am on Monday.

He did not believe it was an authentic Banksy until later that evening, when a friend spotted it on the street artist’s website.

After realising the value of the piece, Stinchcombe guarded it until receiving the tip-off that he should remove it.

“If we hadn’t taken it, someone would have ripped it from the wall or vandalised it,” he said.

The discovery of Mobile Lovers comes days after a piece depicting three 1950s-style agents listening in on conversations in a telephone box appeared on a house in Cheltenham.

Mobile Lovers looked out on the A4032, the busy main road leading into Bristol from the M32.

Art fans from around the city and beyond flocked to see the piece but were disappointed to find it had already been removed.

Rachel Dean, a puzzles compiler who cycled to see the artwork, said: “It’s a real shame because it ruins it. The whole point of street art is that it’s there.”

Laura Pique, 21, a fine arts student at UWE Bristol, said: “If it was my door I wouldn’t be happy that it had been taken. Street art is on the streets, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

David Bryant, 54, of Bristol, was horrified after seeing black painted boards in place of the Banksy. “I came all the way down here and I find it’s gone and someone is making money out of it. That’s not what Banksy is about, he is not about money.

“What is odd is that it was on a piece of wood. Banksy never puts street art on anything that can be taken away.”

Bristol City Council said it could not be “100% certain” of the ownership of the wall the piece had been screwed on to.

Source: guardian